Replacing Outlets and Light Switches
I replaced light switches and outlets in my home and now some things do not have power and do not work: How to Connect Electrical Wiring Problems When Replacing Outlets and Switches, Working with Existing Wiring of Outlets and Switches
Electrical Outlets and Switches
Electrical Question: I replaced light switches and outlets in my home and now some things do not have power and do not work.
- Within the same bedroom, I replaced five electrical outlets and one single pole light switch. Prior to replacing them, they all worked.
- I wanted white outlets and switches instead of off-white.The light switch controls a ceiling fan and light. One of the five outlets is on a separate breaker. This outlet is the only one that now works when I plug something into it.
- The other four outlets and the light switch are getting power (my tester beeps and lights up when held up to the wires), however, the light/fan will not turn on and the outlets do not work when I plug any thing into them. I replaced all of them before turning the power back on and checking any of them.
- I assume the problem is not with the breaker or the wire would not be getting power to them, right? The light switch I removed had no ground wire connected to it. It had two black wires only. I have tried the new switch with and without a ground wire which was twisted up inside the box.
- There were two ground wires and I just tried one of the two. I have replaced numerous lights switches and outlets throughout this new(older) home, without any problems.
This electrical question came from: Ryan, a Homeowner from Southlake, Texas.
Thanks for your electrical question Ryan.
How to Connect Wiring When Replacing Outlets and Switches
Application: Wiring Light Switches and Outlets.
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced – Best installed by a Licensed Electrician.
Tools Required: Basic Electricians Pouch Hand Tools and Power Tools for installing electrical wiring, and Voltage Tester.
Estimated Time: Depends on personal level experience and ability to work with hand and power tools.
Precaution: Identify the lighting circuit, turn it OFF and Tag it with a Note before working with the wiring.
Notice: Installing additional 3-way or 4-way switch wiring should be done according to local and national electrical codes with a permit and be inspected.
Working with Existing Wiring of Outlets and Switches
- From the information that was provided, the problem is not with the circuit breaker, but with the electrical wiring.
- The voltage that is being tested indicates that the circuit does have power, however the neutral may not be connected through at one of the splices or connections.
- This is best solved by reexamining all of the wiring and connections and using a tester for the power and the neutral conductors starting at the source of the circuit and outward as the wiring connects to the other outlets and light switches.
- Identify and turn OFF the electrical circuit which provides power before replacing any electrical device including wall switches and receptacle outlets.
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This is a testing tool that I have had in my personal electrical tool pouch for years, and is the first test tool I grab to help identify electrical wiring. It is a Non-contact tester, [amazon.com], I use for the detection of Standard Voltage in Cables, Cords, Circuit Breakers, Lighting Fixtures, Switches, Outlets and Wires. Simply insert the end of the tester into an outlet, lamp socket, or hold the end of the tester against the wire you wish to test. Very handy and easy to use.
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